New World School of the Arts Dancers Perform the Work of Merce...

New World School of the Arts Dancers Perform the Work of Merce Cunningham at the 92 Y

Fridays At Noon: Merce Cunningham: New Perspectives, A Living Legacy


MIAMI, April 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — New World School of the Arts (NWSA) college dancers will perform a Cunningham MinEvent as part of the Fridays At Noon series entitled: Merce Cunningham: New Perspectives, A Living Legacy, in New York City.

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Constructed expressly for the NWSA college dancers by Patricia Lent, Trustee and Director of Licensing for the Merce Cunningham Trust, in the form of a MinEvent, the work includes material from Cunningham’s Roaratorio (1982), Enter (1992), and Fabrications (1987). The MinEvent will also be offered to the South Florida community during NWSA’s College Spring Dance Concert from April 25 through April 28.

Fridays At Noon: Merce Cunningham will be presented on April 5, at 7:30 PM. Harkness Dance Center of the 92nd Street YM-YWHA. Buttenwieser Hall, Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street, New York City.

Mary Lisa Burns, Dean of Dance at New World School of the Arts, and a former Cunningham Studio Faculty Member and Director of Education for the Cunningham Dance Foundation states: “We are thrilled to be included in this important program at the 92nd Street Y, which is providing an opportunity for audiences to see the work of Merce Cunningham as it is embodied by these outstanding young dancers. It is wonderful to see the ways in which Merce’s legacy lives and remains vital and relevant to the dance training of today.”

“Learning Merce Cunningham’s work was exhilarating and challenging. Performing for the MinEvent at the New World Symphony and seeing how enthusiastically the audience received the work was everything we could have asked for. It was an honor doing Merce Cunningham’s work — the opportunity of a life time,” said Katelynn Draper, a sophomore from the NWSA Dance Division who will be participating in the performance.

The cast, which performed this work at Miami’s New World Symphony’s John Cage Festival on February 8th will include: Leon Cobb, Katelynn Draper, Angela Fegers, Christine Flores, Stephanie Fuentes, Claudia Lezcano, Melanie Martel, Marcus McCray, and Johan Rivera.

Los Angeles Times critic Mark Swed noted of the Cage Festival performance, “A conducting fellow, Joshua Gersen . . . gave striking point and character to excerpts from . . . “Sixteen Dances,” which included . . . Cunningham dances that were compellingly performed by students from New World School of the Arts.”

Fridays At Noon: Merce Cunningham will also include a performance of August Pace (1989) MinEvent staged by Jean Freebury on the Conservatory of Dance students at Purchase College, as well as a panel by former members of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

NWSA Dean of Dance, Mary Lisa Burns, was a dancer in the companies of Kenneth King, Brenda Daniels, Gina Gibney and others. Burns was a faculty member for twenty-three years at the Merce Cunningham Studio and served as the Cunningham Dance Foundation’s Director of Education prior to joining New World School of the Arts as Dean of the Dance Division in 2011. She holds an MFA from the Tisch School of the Arts/NYU and currently serves as Board Member and Secretary for the National Association of Schools of Dance.

The NWSA Dance program is grounded in classical ballet and modern dance techniques. Supporting studies include choreography, music, dance history, anatomy and kinesiology, movement analysis and dance production. Through our progressive program, dance majors participate in intense technical training grounded in classical ballet and modern dance techniques, which leads to jazz and ethnic dance studies as well as exposure to newer dance forms. Guest artists from across the country teach master classes in every dance form, from ballet to hip hop. Our program allows students to sharpen their ability to reproduce movement with speed, accuracy and adaptability, to experience a wider range of techniques, and to establish ties with a variety of dance professionals. Students have opportunities to perform with the New World Dance Ensemble, a touring company, whose repertory includes works in all the dance disciplines. Recent examples of masterworks performed include those of Robert Battle, Martha Graham and George Balanchine.

New World School of the Arts was created by the Florida Legislature as a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts. It is an educational partnership of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College and the University of Florida.

More information about the Dance Division at New World School of the Arts is available at 305-237-3582 or at

SOURCE New World School of the Arts

New World School of the Arts Dancers Perform the Work of Merce Cunningham at the 92 Y